The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

About the ICO and raising concerns


Q: What does the ICO do?

The Information Commissioner's Office is an independent official body. The Information Commissioner is appointed by the Queen. The Commissioner is responsible for administering the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Read about the work we do.

Q: What powers does the ICO have?

We have various powers available to us under the different pieces of legislation we oversee:

Q: How do I raise my concerns with the ICO?

Full details about how you can raise your concerns under any of the legislation we oversee are available in our concerns section.

Q: Can the ICO act on my behalf?

The Commissioner does not act on behalf of individuals to resolve matters to their satisfaction. We use information gained from concerns raised by individuals to help regulate the legislation we cover.

Q: Can the ICO award compensation?

No, this can only be done by a court. Read advice about this process on our claiming compensation webpage.

Q: Can I take a matter to court?

You can take cases to court about most issues falling under the Data Protection Act. Read our guidance on taking a case to court.

The Freedom of Information Act is slightly different. You can only appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal against a decision made by the Commissioner, you can't take your own legal action under this Act. Read more information about the role of the Tribunal on their website.

Q: Can I raise my concerns anonymously?

The ICO cannot investigate a concern without knowing your identity. However, in certain circumstances we may not need to make this known to the organisation concerned. We also provide guidance about disclosures to the ICO under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (whistleblowing).

Q: What are the ICO's service standards?

View our current service standards.

Q: What are you doing about the concerns I raised?

The ICO uses the concerns you raise to determine whether there is an opportunity to improve information rights within the organisation you have concerns about. This may be as a result of you making us aware of a one-off event or your concern may help us identify a cumulative pattern of issues about an organisation.

In most cases we will not need to contact you again after you have let us know you have concerns about an organisation. If we do need to contact you again we will provide you with a reference number. If you require an update, you should call our helpline and quote your reference number.

We will publish information about the action that we take.

We will also publish information about the improvements made by organisations to their information rights practice.

Q: Can I request information from the ICO?

Yes, we are subject to the legislation that we regulate. To view our publication scheme, disclosure log and details of how to make a request, see our How we comply webpage.

Q: Is the ICO currently doing market research?

Yes. We are currently conducting customer satisfaction research and commissioned SPA Future Thinking, an independent market research company, to undertake the study on our behalf. For more information, view our information rights research webpage.